The Saints are one of a handful of NFL teams to date that have not signed any of their draft picks to contracts, the others are the Jaguars, Cardinals, Cowboys and Raiders.
In fact over 80% of teams have one or more draft pick signed and on average are more than half way through signing their entire draft class.
So what is holding up the Saints?
Likely nothing more than they just want to take their time with developing contracts for these new players given the uncertainty of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement in the future, among other things.
For rookies salaries are given somewhat on a sloting scale meaning that their draft placement is indicative to what money they will receive, obviously the 10th pick in the draft will command more money than the 100th pick in the draft.
What holds up most contract talks is that the amount of money can fluctuate between draft picks and teams. A player that was picked 15th for instance may wait for the player picked 14th and 16th to sign, guaranteeing he makes more than the 14th player and less than the 15th player.
In the case of Patrick Robinson, the Saints 1st round pick at number 32, the player above him at 31 and below at 33 have both yet to sign with their respective teams (31 – Jerry Hughes, Colts and 33 – Roger Saffold, Rams).
Robinson will hold out to see what deals get put in place with both players before entering into contract talks with the Saints, which hopefully gets done by training camp.
Robinson’s situation is allot like Malcolm Jenkins situation was last season, Jenkins held out until the pick before him and after him had signed to begin contract talks.
Jenkins would go on to miss more than two weeks of training camp because of his contract missing valuable snaps with the defense.
Hopefully Robinson get’s his deal done quicker than Jenkins.
Offensive tackle Charles Brown was picked 64th, the last pick in the second round, and as of yet neither player above him or below has signed and before he puts his name on the line you can bet he waits for Mr.61 and Mr.63 first.
The good news for the Saints is that after Robinson and Brown are signed most picks from rounds three to seven fall into place like clock work as their contracts are standard for their draft placement.
That of course means that Jimmy Graham (95), Al Woods (123), Matt Tennant (158) and Sean Canfield (239) will sign like domino’s by the start of training camp later this month.
General manager Mickey Loomis would like to see all of the Saints rookies signed by the start of camp, and most should be, barring hold outs from the players above and below their draft picks.
Come on Jerry Hughes and Roger Saffold, get signed already.